2017’s Notable Summer Movies That Aren’t Retreads or Sequels
We’ve all been there. We’ve felt fatigued at some point in our lives over summer movies, and we crave for something off-beat and different from the explosive action of superhero sequels. Don’t get us wrong, we love most of that stuff. We also love new and original ideas that set themselves apart from the piles and piles of sequels and retreads of properties we’ve seen hundreds of times before (one way or another).
Also, superhero and Michael Bay movies just aren’t some people’s thing.
If you’re looking to wander outside the comfort zone, here are a few potentially great movies coming out this summer that may have been flying under your radar.
From the director who brought you Snowpiercer, The Host, and Mother, Bong Joon-ho’s newest film is about a young girl who has grown attached to her genetically altered pet pig, which was sent to live with her family for a period of time. When the multi-international corporation (led by Tilda Swinton) that created it comes to collect, the girl and her giant friend must do all they can to stay together.
Bong Joon-ho is no stranger to picking at society’s scabs, with Snowpiercer being incredibly on-the-nose about its commentary on class warfare. The same can be said about Okja and its approach to the corporatization of animal slaughter.
Overall, Okja is a clever little film with heart. Some of the characters may seem a little exaggerated (i.e. Tilda Swinton playing up the most pleasantly evil human being in the world…again), but that’s part of the charm. If you enjoyed Bong’s other movies, this is another must-see. It’s available to watch now on Netflix.
The Little Hours
Based on a story from Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” The Little Hours followed three lascivious nuns Alessandra, Fernanda, and Ginevra. After one particularly harsh insult drives the convent’s day laborer away, Father Tommasso brings in a new hired hand Massetto. Massetto presents himself as a deaf-mute peasant, but he’s actually a servant hiding from his angry lord. Being something of a lech himself, hiding among a trio misbehaving nuns may prove more difficult than previously thought.
Beatriz at Dinner
Beatriz at Dinner does not shy away from the uncomfortable and very topical conversation concerning the divide between rich Americans and working immigrants. Believe it or not, this was made before Donald Trump’s meteoric rise in popularity/infamy in politics.
Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is a Los Angeles massage therapist and holistic healer who drives to the seaside mansion of her client Cathy. She’s invited to stay for a seemingly innocent dinner with Cathy’s business associates, but it becomes something of a cringe-worthy experience. Beatriz soon finds herself at odds against a real estate mogul (John Lithgow) who cares more about money than people.
Beatriz at Dinner is still available in theaters, so check your local listings.
This movie is one of the higher-profile movies on this list. Starring Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst, and directed by Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled is a tense thriller set in a Southern girls’ boarding school. The sheltered young women discover a wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) and nurse him back to health.
To make sure none of the women alert the Confederacy of his presence, Farrell’s character attempts to woo every maiden and matron who comes to nurse him. This tactic eventually goes sideways for him, probably in the most brutal of ways, as it sparks a dangerous rivalry among three of the house’s oldest members.
The Beguiled is available to watch now in theaters near you.
The only action-packed movie on this list, Baby Driver has already garnered some high praise from critics and audiences. Directed by Edgar Wright, the film stars Ansel Elgort as a talented getaway driver for criminals.
Baby Driver has an eclectic soundtrack that’s every bit as important as the film’s stellar ensemble cast. Its smooth AF editing fits perfectly with each song. It’s so well done, I can’t imagine anyone else winning all the technical awards. As for the stunt driving, well… no high-octane movie that relies heavily on any one of its characters’ ability to drive well is its equal.
You can watch Baby Driver now in a theater near you.
The Big Sick
If you feel like watching a movie that makes you feel all the feelings this summer, Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick will be the movie for you. It’s an autobiographical love story between the film’s writing duo, comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon. While a comedy, The Big Sick is also emotional and honest when representing a love between two adults whose cultural backgrounds (and their families) couldn’t be more different.
Kumail comes from a very traditional family who still practice arranged marriages. He tolerates these traditions for a time, but their importance comes into question when he meets Emily (played by Zoe Kazan).
You can catch The Big Sick in a theater near you starting July 13, 2017.